Tuesday, 27 December 2011

A Doll Like Us


In the fall one of my relatives informed me that she had written a letter to Maplelea Girls doll company, because she found that as a Canadian, her daughter was not being represented in their dolls as a Black Canadian. Maplelea Dolls pride themselves on giving Canadian girls from different backgrounds dolls that look like them and who would have the same cultural traditions and activities that they do.

                                         Current Maplelea Girls dolls.       Photo: Maplelea Girls

I was intrigued and decided to contact the makers of Maplelea Girls myself. I gave them some resources for Black history in Canada and mentioned that their are many Black Canadians who take pride in their culture and who appreciate seeing a Black Canadian doll that truly represented them.

Within 24 hours I heard from the President of Maplelea Girls, Kathryn Morton. I really appreciated her prompt response and she told me that Maplelea  Girls  has plans to bring a Black-Canadian doll to the market in 2012. Needless to say I was super excited. The idea of having a doll on the market in Canada for little black girls, that looked like them and did the things they did was fabulous.

Now here is the best part she would like feedback from the readers of Canadian Curlies and find out what naturals want in a Black Canadian doll. So I've created a survey link (see below) and I urge you to make your voice be heard. Be sure to think about what you would like this doll to look like and what persona you would like to have. Let's give the little ones something we didn't have a doll like us and share the link with others.

Black Canadian Doll survey linkhttp://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LLNCXGM

Blessings and Curls,

Monday, 26 December 2011

Happy Hoildays Curlies!

I just wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas (if you celebrate it) and a very Happy New Year.  All the best to you and your families.

I hope you have been having wonderful holiday hair as well. I decided to blow-out my hair and then twist it for my regular twist-out. I used Jane Carter's Defining Cream again and I'm still loving it. I did find that blowing my hair did make my twists come out a little longer. I like the look, but I won't do it on a regular basis as I do not subscribe to using heat on my hair all the time. Nonetheless, it's fun to try new things. That's what 2012 is going to be about for me. Trying new things and seeing what works best for you..

So my challenge to all of you step outside of your comfort zone and have a hair adventure. Be sure to tell me about it. I'm looking forward to hearing about your stories and experiences.

Blessings and Curls,

Monday, 19 December 2011

Jane Carter's Curl Defining Cream Review

So as I mentioned in a previous post, I got Jane Carter’s Curl Defining Cream at an iHEARTmyHair event a couple weeks ago.
I heard mixed reviews (in person and on youtube), the natural who brought it to the event, said it left a white residue in her hair and just was not what she expected or wanted. Others who tried it before said they liked it for twisted outs and blowouts. I still decided to give it a try, especially since I could give it an unbiased review without purchasing it.  
So this weekend was the moment of truth. I decided to try it on a twist-out.  Here is the claim from Jane Carter website:
Eliminate curl shrinkage! Curl Defining Cream is light-weight, all natural product formulated to lengthen and define your natural curl pattern while drying to a soft, shiny, bouncy finish.
Water soluble, Curl Defining Cream washes and dries clean without leaving any film, offering the true luxury of “wash and wear” hair!
Ingredients:Purified Water, Extracts of Anthemis Noblis Flower (Camomile), Symphytum Officinal Leaf (Comfrey), Equisetum Arvense (Horsetail), Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops),of Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba), Seed Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Natural Vitamin E, Glycerin, Propanediol, Poly-quaternium-200, Citric Acid , Polyquaternium-37, Ceteareth 20 , Phen-oxyethanol, Caprylyl, Glycol, Sorbic acid, Fragrance.
Since wash-n-gos are not my strong suit, I decided try it on staple style - twist-out.
So I washed my hair with Live Clean's Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo, conditioned with Say Yes to Cucumbers, my leave-in conditioner is the Kinky Curly Knot Today (Kimmaytube method). After applying the my leave-in, I started to section and detangle. After detangling each section, I applied the Curl Defining Cream and started to twist my hair into medium-sized twists.
Let me say that is product has a lovely fresh citrus scent. So if you like citrus, you will love this. The smell also lingers on your hair for at least a day after application – which was fine with me.
When I finished twisting, my twists were slightly elongated, soft and shiny. I wrapped my hair with a scarf and then went to bed.
I took them out yesterday afternoon. I coated my twists with a little bit of coconut oil and gently unraveled them. I have to say that I’m really happy with the outcome. My hair was defined, very moist and bouncy.
So for me, Jane Carter’s Curl Defining Cream is a winner. I will definitely use the rest of the jar up and I think it may become one of my staple products. The only thing I will not like is buying it, since it is quite pricey at $38 CDN for a 16 oz jar. For right now I will live in bliss … and see what I can do when I'm on empty... that will be a sad day. 
See pictures below of my twist-out (front and back), using the product.

Have you tried it? What did you think? Or do you have another product review to share, email me at canadiancurlie2010@gmail.com.

Blessings and Curls,

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Loving your Hair

So I went to an iHeartmyHair event last week hosted by its founder Añya Grant.

It was a great night – Thanks for the having it Anya. There was a product swap, which I loved. I left with Jane Carter’s Curl Defining Cream. So I’m looking forward to trying that out, but that is another post. I also finally met another natural blogger that I have been conversing with on Twitter: Bee from '83 to Infinity.

I just wanted to say that it was really good to get together with other Curlies in the city, in an intimate setting and just chat. We had a good discussion about why we went natural and how many of us are perceived in our professional and person lives. There were many insights, but for me the most important thing I took away from the evening was the need for support and unity in our natural and curly community. Slowly but surely we are getting our act together and showing the world our natural beauty. So look out world!

I hope that this blog can help provide you with support and unity to a certain extent whether you are near or far. Let’s continue to communicate and share stories. Keep me posted on what you want more of and make sure and drop me a line to just say “Hi” or if you would like to be feature on Canadian Curlies.

Blessings and Curls,


Thursday, 8 December 2011

My Holiday Hair Wish List …

It’s time to get out there in the malls or if you are not into the crowds and prefer to makes gifts for loved ones that is fine too. Alternatively maybe you are just not a holiday person, that is fine too … but that does not mean you cannot have a wish list for your hair or decide to give your lovely curls a gift or two or three. As far as I’m concerned it’s just another way to show your love for yourself and there is nothing wrong with that right. So without further ado here is what is on my hair wish list in no in particular order. Donations are always welcome and appreciated…LOL.

- Funky hair accessories

- Cute beanie hats

- I’d love for someone else to style to my hair. Something nice that I wouldn’t have thought of.

- Shea Moisture (Anything from them. I’ve yet to try their products – little pricey.)

- Denman brush

- Huetiful Hair steamer

- Miss Jessie’s Curly Meringue

- Carol's Daughter Loc Butter

- Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar Pomade

- Hicks Edges

Whatever you decide to do this year for others or yourself, please remember those who are less fortunate or just need a little love.

Blessings and Curls,


Featured Curlie - Ardean

Name: Ardean Peters

Hometown: Born in Toronto, grew up in Jane & Finch, currently in Brampton

First year of curlieness: 1992 (I think... I'm not good at numbers! I was 19 then, and I'm 38 now!)Actually, I just did a youtube video (purfikt), looking back at these early years. I've been following the online natural hair community on and off starting in 2005 and for the last year or two, have been occasionally following some youtubers. I had wanted to start a natural hair channel for a long time, but it's a lot of work. So this will just be the occasional video on what I do, and more a way to connect with other naturals and glean info from them :D

Why I went curlie: Well, as a child of the 80's, I started my teen hairstyling years, in the age of the Jheri Curl. Remember those? NOT pretty! I remember going to the salon early in the morning and waiting forever until they started working on me. At the end - you had this greasy, dripping head of Jheri Curls and there was no 'styling' option on freshly Jheri Curled hair. Getting back home was therefore a matter of trying to sneak out of the back entrance of the mall, unnoticed and taking the back streets to get back home. By grade 10, I moved onto a relaxer. I remember doing the ponytail that wasn't: using hairspray to try and slick up all the hair that was too short to reach into the bun! I also remember taking an hour in the morning to do my hair curling and styling - yikes! Honestly, I just got tired of all the work, plus that lovely burning sensation you always got from doing a home relaxer! So in grade 12, while my hair was still relaxed, I decided to; dun, dun, dun - cut my hair! Something no black girl did back then. I had decided that I would really prefer a short and easy hairstyle - that wouldn't take an hour to style every morning. It was such a cute look. I loved it. But inevitably, the relaxer grew out and my short cut, wasn't working so effortlessly anymore, so I decided just to cut off the relaxed ends and go natural. I figured if guys could do it, why not me? And I loved it. Wash and go hair - literally!

Regime and products: I have never been big into styling, I'm lazy like that and so have also never really been into tons of product. Last year when I found kimmaytube, I started experimenting with twist outs - so then I was using aloe gel for setting and olive oil hair creams for sealing my hair. But that didn't last too long...although I achieved some cute looks, I'm just not one to twist my hair nightly - or even to tie it down and re-fresh it in the morning. So the last few months, I was mostly just washing 1X a week and then daily just dampening my hair in the shower/or spritzing with aloe/water to moisten and be able to style it: a low bun in the back and 2 flat twists in the front.

(above) Ardean with braids.

(above) Ardean with a puff.

Now though, I've decided to re-visit my 'wash and go' again. This is what I did years ago and was doing up to a year and a half ago. I had stopped, because the band I used to pull my hair into my staple large puff, was now causing a tension headache. This time around, I'm going to try the wash and go and either leave my hair in a fro or another simple style, that doesn't cause any tension.

My current products:
1. Conditioner in the shower daily - just started using Tresemme and Tresemme Naturals and so far love it.
2. Aloe juice (by way of Kimmaytube) - I love how this smells and I do see a difference (smoother, less frizzy hair) when I use it. After I condition and rinse, I spritz on my aloe/water combo.
3. Shea butter - I had been using castor oil (sometimes jojoba) up to now, but never liked how they smell. I recently went back to shea butter and love it! I find that shea leaves my hair curly, softer and sealed, while the castor seems to straighten my hair out and never really absorbs into my hair.

The best part of being curlie for me is: Is the 'ease of use'. I don't worry about getting my hair wet. In fact, my hair loves getting wet. The versatility you have with being curly - you can do a straight style anytime you want and then go back to being curly. And mostly, I just love how my curls feel.Chemically relaxed hair, just never felt near as good:D

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Featured Transitioner now Curlie - Kyra Cox


Toronto, Ont.

Length of transition (start to finish):

1 year

Why I went curlie:

I didn't actually go curlie purposefully. Quite a few years ago I gave myself a really nasty burn when perming my hair at home. The side effects were the onset of migraine headaches, and a very sensitive scalp. It took a few months of increasingly painful headaches for me to see a specialist, which is where I was told that a severe chemical burn could have caused my migraines to begin. After making the connection, I tried to perm my hair less often (and definitely stopped doing it at home), but my sensitivity to almost all hair oils, shampoos, hairsprays, gels and other styling products, resulted in me doing less and less to my processed hair. As it grew out, I found new ways of 'coping', never really consciously committed to going natural, but knowing that I could not go back to processing my hair all the time, and that I had to discover a healthy - and practical - way of living with my hair.

Since my hair was cut into a short style to begin with, before I knew it I had a head full of natural hair that I 'chiney bumped' and twisted; promising myself I would braid it as soon as the back was long enough, and then toying with the idea of locking my hair after that. I never did do any of the above, which I am happy about because it caused me to reach out and ask questions, pay attention to different creative hairstyles I saw other ladies wearing, and to think of and treat my hair as a healthy and beautiful extension of myself, rather than a burden to be dealt with.

Transitioning products and current products:

As a result of my sensitivity (which persists), I use olive oil and shea butter currently to moisturize. I have been told by another Canadian Curlie that shampoo is not something I should be using in my hair, so I will be looking into more natural products for caring for and styling my hair - I am always open to suggestions. I recently tried Olive Oil Eco Styler hair gel (courtesy of my dearest cousin), and I love the definition it gives and the fact that it does not irritate my scalp.

Since I was continually experimenting with products while my hair was processed, the products that I was not allergic to was the line of Elasta QP hair care & styling products, Dove Shampoo (only), as well as the Aphogee line.

The best part of now being curlie:

Aside from the health benefits, which are extremely important to me - my migraines have drastically reduced (if not disappeared) and my scalp, while still sensitive, is much healthier - I love my hair in a way that I never did before! I am a very low maintenance kind of girl and the focus of my hairstyles has always been practicality.

Being a realtor, always on the go - quick and practical styles were a necessity. I always thought that low maintenance natural hair was an oxymoron, only to discover that not only can it be extremely low maintenance (disclaimers needed here lol), my hair's potential is only bound by the limits of my imagination. The best part about being curlie for me is expanding my imagination. I have fallen in love with the versatility of my natural locks and I must admit that I feel a sort of connection to all the sisters out there that I see, wearing their hair like mine. My husband loves my hair, my friends do, and most importantly - I do! I am so glad to have been introduced to Canadian Curlie - I am looking forward to expanding my imagination =0)

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

My Hair Journey ... so far

So I’ve finally gotten my act together and gathered a few pics of my transition to present day living in happy curly land to show you guys.

Looking at these pics really made me see how far I’ve really come and it makes me feel proud that I stuck it out. Tell me what you think.

Monday, 14 November 2011

A Pledge to Health

So I have decided to come out of my fitness hiatus. I should say that I do have a gym membership and I’m not afraid of the gym, my motivation is what sometimes gets in the way of me actually reaching my personal goals. My goals are like many of yours out there, to lose about 10 pounds or so and tighten up in those areas that make your skinny jeans look sexier and let me not forget the return of the bikini body. Which means lots of cardio, weight training and my dear favourite crunches and sit-ups.

So part of the reason for this post is selfish. I know if I put myself on blast out here on the WORLD WIDE WEB, I will make a better effort to stay on track.

The other reason is that through a little research I’ve found out that exercising, drinking lots of water, eating properly and taking a multivitamin are not only good for your health and longevity, but it’s also good for your HAIR. What a concept! When you think of it, it makes so much sense right.

So here is my plan of action:

Go to the gym at least three times a week, maybe four if I’m lucky and can hang.

Eat a healthy balanced diet, which includes three days of the week meat-free (not including fish and seafood). Hey I’m from the East Coast, I can’t give up my fish and seafood, so don’t ask me to.

Lastly drink plenty of water and take a multivitamin. I’m taking the vitamin to leave nothing to chance. I want to make sure I’m getting all the nutrients I need. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I know many people may decide to wait to get back on track after the holidays, but I prefer to get rid of any access I have beforehand so I won’t feel as guilt about eating a little bit of stuffing, gravy and having a glass of wine. Then continuing my workouts afterward the season of joy, love and eating, won’t be such a chore. This is just my personal philosophy. What is yours?

Is there anyone out there sweating it out at the gym? What are you doing that works for you? Do you have any tips for those of us with motivation issues or need help getting started?

Blessings and Curls,

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Truth about Transitioning

Those of you who follow my blog, know that my curls appeared as a result of transitioning for nine months. I was not ready to just break out with a huge big chop. I wanted time to get to know my growing curls. But, I wanted to talk about a few things you may go through if this is the journey you’ve chosen for your curls.

What is transitioning?
It’s when women decide to grow out their processed hair and cut it off at a pace that is comfortable for them.

Transitioning regime?
Use your favourite deep conditioner and if time allows do so with every wash. Be sure to apply a detangling leave-in conditioner, water-based moisturizer and a natural oil for sealing.

What styles can be worn while transitioning?

How long should you transition?
This is a very personal decision. You and only you will know how much of dealing with two textures of hair you can take. Your new growth will be stronger and healthier than your processed ends, but transitioning is about taking care of both at the same time. Some people last one week, while others can go on for two years. Make up your mind and the best part about it is you can always shorten or lengthen the journey at any time. It’s your hair not anyone else’s. So take control of it!

What should you expect while transitioning?
It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a labour of love and it needs to be, otherwise you will end up relaxing or processing your hair again. Another thing people should remember is that patience is necessary as your curls will not just pop up overnight, especially if you plan to do a long transition.

During your transition you will have moments of triumph and frustration, but all of these experiences will make you appreciate the true beauty and strength of your hair and will as a women with afro-textured hair. Embrace it!

Blessings and Curls,

Friday, 4 November 2011

Faux Hawk Tutorial

I have to say, I’m really happy with the way my hair turned out today. So much so that I had to write about it.

I was rocking a tired six day twist-out that I was refreshing everyday with water, apricot oil and Eco Styler Gel- Argan Oil when needed. It was looking OK, but I was getting bored. Not to mention I like to try new things with my hair the day before wash day, so I’m not committed to the style, incase I don’t like it.

So I woke up with a smooshed fro that was tied down with a silk scarf at night (sorry no pics - it was a hot mess) … lol. Only hair I could love and husband could tolerate in the morning!

I started to tackle it with water that is sometimes mixed with a little bit of oil (whatever natural oil you have on hand is fine). I then seal in my moisture as I start to work my fingers through my hair to get the volume back.

I then took put a generous amount of gel and put it on the front of my hair. Once the curls started to pop I gathered one side (no farther back than my ear) of my hair and secured it with two bobby pins. I repeated this on the other side. When my sides were pinned, it played with the bangs and finger styled them. On a side note: I was so excited to have bangs to play with. My hair is starting to grow Curlies!! yay)

I then continued to finger style the rest of my hair to get the look I was happy with. All that in 5-10 minutes.

Try it and little me know what happens. Or share your favourite lazy style, canadiancurlie2010@gmail.com

Blessings and Curls,

Monday, 31 October 2011

Product Adventures

I’m am currently in a product funk. I say this because I have been using the same thing on my hair for at least the last five months. I’m talking about my coveted home-made whipped shea butter. I absolutely love it not only for my hair, but for my entire body. Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure my household would got nutty if I did stop making it, since they all use it as much I do.

So I’m not a product junkie, but any means, at least not now. When I was transitioning, I tried everything that my budget would allow. Thank God I have now calmed down. I’m interested in trying Oasis for Curls, first of all because they are a Canadian company and secondly, because their product line is natural and simple. I’m guessing, that I wouldn’t need to totally transform the way I do my hair just to apply the products. I’m also considering to try Shea Moisture and Deva Curl products, but they are quite pricey at least in Canada anyway. Although I have a job, I’m not interested in paying an arm and a leg for hair products. As far as I’m concerned other than the great health factors of natural hair, saving a few coins was also one of my reasons for the switch as well.

As you all know our curls come in different shapes, sizes and textures so it stands to reason that products will not react the same on one curl to the next. I’ve listed below a few products that I’ve tried so far and have rated them from my personal experience on a scale of 1 (never again) to 5 (I can’t live without it)

Kinky Curly Curling Custard - 2
I was not super impressed. Yes it defined my curls, bit there was a lot of shrinkage. I ended up giving it away to my Aunt. Perhaps, I’ll try again after my hair grows a little more.

Curls Curl Souffle - 3

I liked the water-based moisturizer for the winter months, but other than moisturizing it did nothing else for my hair and didn’t lend itself to adding shine. The smell is intoxicating is you like cake.

Komaza Coconut Hair Pudding - 1
It left my hair feeling hard and gooey in spots. The smell was great, but otherwise I can’t see myself buying it again.

Homemade Whipped Shea Butter - 5
Love it, it must be in my house at all times.

Jane Carter Nourish and Shine - 4
I used a sample and love it. The smell and consistency were great and it agreed with my hair. It’s just a little pricey.

Darcy Botanicals Coconut Lemongrass Transitioning Cream - 4
An excellent product. It definitely helped with the detangling sessions and was a fantastic moisturizer. Come to think of it, I may revisit it this winter, even though I’m now 100% natural.

Eco Styler Gel (argan or olive oil)-5

I love this stuff. It's great to slick those edges down or to do a wash-n-go. It also give a nice shine and can be easily manipulated if water is used.

Enough about me what products do you swear by or wish you hadn’t purchased?

Blessings and Curls,

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Featured Curlie - Tamara

Name: Tamara a Canadian makeup guru. She can also be found at her website Beauty Thesis

Hometown: Hamilton, Ontario

First year of curlieness: I did a full transition; which started in 2006 and ran through 2009.

Why I went curlie: Relaxers weren't offering me much more than the hassle and burns.

Regime and products: I don't have a formal routine, I simply pay attention to the condition of my hair rather than enforce a strict schedule.

Generally, I co-wash (Organix nourishing coconut milk) my hair every few days and shampoo (Organix nourishing coconut milk) once a week. I de-tangle my hair while it's wet and soaked with conditioner using a classic Denman brush. Co-washes are followed up with leave-in conditioner. If I've used shampoo or I'm twisting my hair, I seal the ends with a blend of oils (extra virgin olive, grapeseed & sweet almond).

I trim my ends as needed, and it's always while I'm putting my hair into twists.

The best part of being curlie for me is: Finally understanding what my hair needs. I always liked my hair, but it was frustrating because nothing ever worked and it was just always a struggle. Learning about it's preferences and how to work with it to create the styles I wanted was a major achievement; as nobody ever seemed to know what to do with it. Now I can love it without reserve and that's a great feeling.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Spousal Hair Support

The subject heading sounds like a court order I know, but there is no other way to say it. I need to be truthful, I am receiving voluntary Spousal Hair Support.

The fact of the matter is when I first told my husband that I was going natural, he was unsure about my decision and was against me cutting my straight shoulder length hair off. So part of my reason of transitioning was not only for me to get to know my hair, but also to let him have the opportunity to see it's truth potential. With that said he, knew what I was about to do was not going to be easy for either of us and he supported me anyway, because he loves all of me not just my hair.

He seen the love I was developing for my curls and the special time I would give them, especially when it came down to detangling my transitioning tress, roller setting and sitting under the hood dryer every weekend or during the week. It became my other job, but I was dedicated.He also noticed how much healthier my hair and scalp was and that was important to him as well.

Soon enough he began to feel the love for my curls too. When I finally cut my hair it was a shock to the entire household, they didn't know what to expect. Yet, when I walked through the door he was there and he gave me a kiss, saying "it looks cute." That made me happy.

As the days turned into months, he loves it even more and so do I. He is even at the point where he does not find straight hair on black women attractive anymore. This makes me smile inside. He is now totally converted.

What has your experience been like with your husband or significant other? Do you have any tips for other Canadian Curlies out there?

Blessings and Curls,

Friday, 7 October 2011

Curls Crave Moisture

When I first went natural, I had a hard time figuring out what Curlies meant by
sealing moisture. It’s not as simple as putting a moisturizer on your hair. Now that the colder is approaching, it’s imperative for you to maintain a healthy level of moisture in your hair, if not more than usual.

The definition of sealing is: A substance, especially an adhesive agent such as wax or putty, used to close or secure something or to prevent seepage of moisture or air, courtesy of The Free Dictionary, by Farlex.

To translate that into nourishing our hair, it means we need to seal in the moisture (ie: water or a water based-moisturizer) Please note that oil does not moisturize your hair but, certain types are great to use as a sealer. I enjoy using a few different oils such as almond, avocado, castor, extra virgin coconut oil is one of my favourites and I’ve just discovered apricot oil, which I am also starting to love.

It’s also important to mention that mineral oil or petroleum based products are not good for our hair, since they suffocate our scalp and hair. This stops our pores from breathing and also attracts dirt and lint which urns into build-up. Some Curlies are OK with this fact and still use mineral oil and petroleum based products, but I’m hesitant since my scalp often gives me an attitude and is super sensitive.

So as a rule of thumb, after washing your hair, applying a leave-in conditioner and moisturizer, it’s a good idea to seal in the moisture on your hair with oil. Depending on your hair type some oils may add shine or seem too heavy. So I’d advise you to play around and find out what sealer works best for you.

Blessings and Curls,

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Featured Curlie - Añya

Name: Añya of http://iheartmyhair.com or https://www.facebook.com/iheartmyhair

Hometown: Tdot O dot (currently) but raised in Ajax

First year of Curlieness: Well the first time I came out of my mamas womb. Then I desperately relaxed my hair as soon as I hit age 13. I wore a relaxer until my first year of university in 2003.

Why I went Curlie: I decided to wear my hair in a curlie style because I HATED the burns, the scabs, the dependency of altering my hair texture every 2 months, I could not deal with the over shedding of hair that would end up all over the bathroom floor. Then after a while of noticing that my hair would not grow pass a certain length, I knew that I had to stop.

Regime and products:
I wash, condition, detangle and protective style my hair once every two weeks so in 1 year I do this 104 times a time. I also deep condition my hair once a month.

As for products I'm really big on Natural ingredient, water soluble products from product line such as Jane Carter Solutions, Black Earth - Mist Bodifier as a moisturizer. I like Koils by Nature foam shampoo and Curl Gel and Curls products. These are my staple products that keep my hair looking fly.

The best part of being curlie for me is: VERSATILITY! I can go sooo many things to my hair. My Natural hair makes me feel more beautiful and more confident. When I get look in the mirror I see a open free beauty and not beauty that was once hidden by hair weaves and person. Being a curlista makes me feel and appreciate ME!

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Natural is Beautiful

This past weekend I was fortunate enough to attend the 7th Annual Natural Hair and Beauty Show here in Toronto. I went last year as well and knew I had to go again.

Let me just say that all natural styles are beautiful. I seen so many curlies that my head was spinning. It was so refreshing! Not only did everyone look good, but they also carried themselves with so much pride. It was an amazing group to be around, you definitely felt a connection.

The show featured everything from informative workshops, fashion shows, vendors with products, accessories and t-shirts galore and the food was amazing as well. In general a really good scene to be apart of.

On another note, I seen that there is a real hunger out there for knowledge about afro-textured hair. It's time to soak up as much information as possible about our curls. It's a shame many of us were not exposed to these forums earlier, but we can definitely show the next generation that wearing your hair in it's natural state is not only a viable option, but also incredibly beautiful. Feel free to share your thoughts...

Blessing and Curls,

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Featured Curlie - Shellene

Name: Shellene aka The Accidental Natural

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, but now I'm a proud Torontonian!

First year of curlieness: 2008

Why I went curlie: It was kind of by accident. My hair was permed STRAIGHT (like bone-straight, no kink, wave or curl to be found) for my wedding in September 2007. As the weather cooled down, I decided to go into braids as usual until the spring. When I took my hair out, I finally noticed my new growth and it was so coily and strong, I wanted to know what my hair would look like completely natural. I hadn't seen my natural texture in 20 years. On the other side of that was relaxing my hair was destroying my scalp. I had all manner of scalp issues that relaxing was just exacerbating. I am allergic to coconut and I learned, as I was researching product ingredients when I went natural that the majority -- almost all -- commercial shampoos use coconut-based ingredients as their foaming agents. That could have been a reason why my scalp was forever flaking off.

Going 'curlie' didn't stop the scalp problem, but deciding not to relax made the problems more manageable. By September 2008, I decided to cut off my permed ends and take it from there. I didn't have a real plan or I didn't make a decision at the beginning to become natural - it just sort of happened organically.

Regime and products: My regime and products started off very complex - I read every blog and watched every video online. From that, I was buying up things like I was a Trump and trying all types of methods. I'm much too lazy and busy for all of that. So now my regime is to the point and simple. I have a hair goal to get to BSL, but I was finding it hard to get past APL. I don't believe in terminal hair growth - I knew it was my regime (i.e. playing up in my hair too much) that was hindering me from reaching my goal.

Now, I'm doing a year of twists. I wash my hair every two to three weeks with either a Henna Sooq shampoo bar (Berhempsu is my favourite) or use my Shea Moisture shampoos (black soap for dandruff and shea butter for moisture). I detangle with lots of conditioner (Tresemme) and wash my hair in sections. I'm trying to deep condition more regularly - I was using Silk Elements Megasilk Olive Moisturizing Treatment, but I find that my hair reacts better to straight shea butter and a heat cap. Next, I do medium sized or mini twists using either shea butter (can you tell I like some shea butter! LOL!), a natural gel like Kinky Curly Curling Custard or Essential Wholesale Styling Jelly (when the weather was humid) or Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque. I wear the twists for two weeks, try to rock a twist out for a week and do the whole thing over again. I started in June and I've already seen a major improvement in terms of length. When my hair needs it, I'll moisturize with a mixture of rosewater, aloe vera juice and a little glycerin and seal everything in with olive oil.

The best part of being curlie for me is: There are a couple of good parts of being curlie. The major one is learning to embrace me for me. I know for a lot of curlies, going natural isn't anything more than not relaxing their hair, but for me it was a kind of awakening. I was learning to love my hair the way it grows out of my head and without using a chemical to make it into something that it wasn't. I find it fascinating that Black women are the only women on the planet who don't know what their real hair texture is and don't know how to look after their own hair. I was so tired of depending on relaxers and hair dressers, that going natural was like being freed. I can do my hair when I want. I can figure out what it needs. I know my hair better than anyone else -- I don't have to depend on anything but some water, shea butter and my two strong hands.